WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Warsaw is Still Waiting for FEMA Money from 2008

Mar 5, 2012

The Mississippi River flood of 2008 heavily damaged the water treatment plant in Warsaw.  At the time, FEMA told the city it would cover the the entire cost of getting the plant back online.

Hancock County Board Chairman David Walker said FEMA did not fulfill the promise.  Instead, it paid 75% of the cost.  That left the city to come up with $265,000 to get the plant running again.

Walker said that was a hardship.

He said, “They had to take it out of their own funds.  Every city, every county, every municipality is hurting on the amount of money that they have.”

Walker said the county did not meet the agency's poverty guidelines to get the 100% payment.  The county board consulted with the Western Illinois Regional Council to find another way to get the money.

WIRC recommended the board pass a resolution to ask the agency to reconsider using its urgent need criteria.

The board passed the resolution at its last meting. Walker said there is no guarantee the agency will change its position.

He  said the board has met with State Senator John Sullivan and State Representative Norine Hammond to get their advice.

Walker feels FEMA is dragging its feet.  He said the city has had to forego other projects to pay for the repairs.